By A. M. Johnson
July 07, 2011
Regarding the move to Unify (cancel) consolidate (cancel) Home Rule the Ketchikan Gateway Borough: If you voted for Unification or Consolidation, then you will really want Home Rule. This is an end run to achieve the goal of Unification/Consolidation. If you were opposed to Unification or Consolidation and voted against, you will not be happy with a Home Rule Borough. Even with the assurances that there no authority to propose a move towards the two offerings. Bet me!!
While the "Official Information little booklet gives few examples: Term limits on school board members, Big Whoopee- or Assembly Representation. Have we a problem with the current format? It is scant on meaningful acquisition of governmental growth.
Government being what it is, a monster that requires continuing growth to demonstrate relevance, will ask for and justify accepting new powers through elections, Note the use of the word "Customize" when addressing powers.
However, there is little attention regarding police powers, side road maintenance, upgrading to International building code (with additional building inspectors/inspections/fees.) to name a few.
I am not aware of any current unrest regarding Revenue Bonds, New Financial Commitments, a need for a "Super Majority, or a concern for a tobacco tax,(Smoking is increasingly becoming taboo with all the restrictions imposed by, Guess Who? Government).
There is a mining severance tax that somehow is a major factor in Borough Government format choosing?. Where and why would that become a pragmatic situation worthy changing our form of Borough?
You can take revenge at the ballot box if your Assembly passes undesired taxes. as to debt limits, we elect those who demonstrate a level of common sense and have to this point, been successful without Home Rule powers'. Have we not had balanced budgets in the current Borough format? I am not aware of any outstanding budget problems other than annual governmental demands for more "Sacrifice,Revenue enhancement,and investment" monies. That will not decrease,actually one could anticipate additional increases with the formulation of a new Government format.
Seems to me that tax proceeds other than dedicated budget categories, are now discussed and seemingly being applied in prudent ways, always with dissent by a minority as it is in any case including a Home Rule Borough.
If you buy the Home Rule Borough concept, then the new government will surely be able to justify and sell to all voting for a larger government, the new powers available, such as those mentioned.
Taxpayers are trading a simple non complex Borough concept for a potential more larger and restrictive form of Government with a Home Rule Borough.
In closing- The least Government is the best Government.
There is always somebody behind these efforts to Unify,Consolidate, or Home Rule, anticipating having a building named after them in the future. Even it being an outhouse.
About: "Many Moons resident who has fought to maintain our current form of Borough Government. It serves us well in its minor way."
Received July 08, 2011 - Published July 11, 2011
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